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Old 08-13-2013, 09:26 AM
 
410 posts, read 699,414 times
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Hello all,

There is a potential move in our future as my hubby's company continues to expand. One of the cities on the list is Rock Hill, so a move to the Charlotte area could be in the cards.

My question is...how to find our niche living wise? I'm not sure about living in Rock Hill. We currently live just outside Greenville, SC in a smaller town that has a pretty decent downtown (lots of restaurants, a coffee shop, good weekend festivals/events). We live in a quaint historical neighborhood adjacent to downtown so we can walk there. I love to run around this area as well(and to the city park/amphitheater). I would want to replicate this lifestyle if possible. I definitely need a historical home. Lol. Or apartment in our case. I'm not sure if we could buy so our rental budget would probably max out around $1200/month. While I would consider urban types of dwellings (lofts, loft conversions, etc.) that are newer, we're definitely not subdivision/track home people.

I know that Rock Hill is quite progressive in terms of parks and recreation, but has the downtown come along in recent years. I remember is being pretty deserted the last time I drove through the area (2007). What about shopping amenities? I love Trader Joe's and would want to have access to that, perhaps another grocery outlet with a good organic selection (or an established farmers market).

I've visited Plaza Midwood before and really enjoyed the area, but I'm not sure if it is too gritty for us as of yet. I want a safe neighborhood as we experienced several home invasions while living in a transitional neighborhood before. I'm not eager to repeat the experience.

Is Rock Hill where we need to settle or are there other areas in the Charlotte region that would fit our lifestyle? We are both in our early 30s, no kids yet though that might change before we move. I'm in government but also have experience in non-profits, so I imagine that I would most likely be working in Charlotte proper.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Windsor Park, Charlotte, NC
84 posts, read 181,955 times
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I grew up in Rock Hill and now live on the edge of Plaza Midwood. Rock Hill has come a great way in terms of parks and recreation opportunities, with a lot of trails and The Riverwalk area too. The downtown... not so much. The city is definitely making an attempt to bring life back into downtown, but it's going very slowly. I will say that you can rent a nice place with character in downtown for your budget, and Rock Hill has gotten better in terms of coffee shops and local restaurants with great food. But it's still very much in the baby stages.

Plaza Midwood, on the other hand, is past its "transitional" stage in the neighborhoods your rent budget can get you into. For $1200 a month you could be on one of the streets right off the "better" part of Central, and those streets are full of solidly middle-class people. Once you start moving further away from that Central Ave. corridor around Pecan, you'll get into areas where people might think it's unsafe (personally, I'd feel fine about my family living anywhere on the PM side of Hawthorne), but again, your rent budget will allow you to live in the nicer part of PM.

Another option might be Baxter Village. It's a planned community with a lot of different types of housing and retail. It's not the kind of thing I'm into, but you might find it works for you. Other posters might have info on newer areas around 485, but I'm not very knowledgeable about those.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:03 PM
 
410 posts, read 699,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshshope View Post
I grew up in Rock Hill and now live on the edge of Plaza Midwood. Rock Hill has come a great way in terms of parks and recreation opportunities, with a lot of trails and The Riverwalk area too. The downtown... not so much. The city is definitely making an attempt to bring life back into downtown, but it's going very slowly. I will say that you can rent a nice place with character in downtown for your budget, and Rock Hill has gotten better in terms of coffee shops and local restaurants with great food. But it's still very much in the baby stages.

Plaza Midwood, on the other hand, is past its "transitional" stage in the neighborhoods your rent budget can get you into. For $1200 a month you could be on one of the streets right off the "better" part of Central, and those streets are full of solidly middle-class people. Once you start moving further away from that Central Ave. corridor around Pecan, you'll get into areas where people might think it's unsafe (personally, I'd feel fine about my family living anywhere on the PM side of Hawthorne), but again, your rent budget will allow you to live in the nicer part of PM.

Another option might be Baxter Village. It's a planned community with a lot of different types of housing and retail. It's not the kind of thing I'm into, but you might find it works for you. Other posters might have info on newer areas around 485, but I'm not very knowledgeable about those.
Thanks so much!

Yeah, planned communities are really not my cup of tea either. It has to have a certain "something" to grab me. Otherwise they are nothing more than subdivisions with sidewalks and a little retail or other amenities thrown in.

Thanks for your thoughts of Plaza Midwood. I just don't want to come home to my door kicked in if we go out of town. I know it's getting to where that can happen most anywhere, but I try to do my due diligence now after what happen to us while we were living in Columbia, SC.

What about Dilworth? Are there things to walk to there? We might have to stretch our rent range a bit more but it looks like a nice neighborhood. I get confused about where a lot of these neighborhoods are. I know about the South End, Elizabeth, Chantilly, and NoDa, but I'm unsure about where they are located and if they are safe.

Last edited by oldhousejunkie; 08-13-2013 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Windsor Park, Charlotte, NC
84 posts, read 181,955 times
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To speak about those areas you mentioned specifically: Dilworth is a nice, upscale area and is quite walkable depending on which part you live in. You would probably have to raise your rent budget though. South End borders Dilworth and is becoming the new thriving place in town because of the light rail running through it. But South End is mostly all retail/commercial. There are neighborhoods on the border of South End, some better than others. Elizabeth is a great neighborhood too, and while you may have to increase your budget to find the perfect place I think you could get into that area for your $1200. I used to rent in Elizabeth and completely loved it, it's my favorite neighborhood in Charlotte. Chantilly is a tiny sliver between Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood but might be a great value for you because your budget would fit there and you have great areas on either side of you. Chantilly is walkable to both Central Ave (PM's main street) and 7th (Elizabeth's main street). It's an area that is full of homes being remodeled but is also very safe. NoDa is the artsy section of town and while I'm pretty confident you could find something nice in your price range, I don't know much about the housing there as I've tended to mostly just frequent the couple of retail blocks there.

With all of those neighborhoods except NoDa you're close to all kinds of retail including grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and shops. With NoDa you've got all of those except a decent grocery store. All of those neighborhoods are within a 10-minute drive to the Trader Joe's, just on different sides of it. That area is called Midtown and is, well, kind of in the middle of everything. There's a Trader Joe's, a West Elm, a few restaurants and shops, and a Target. But not much housing except for expensive condos.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,211 posts, read 12,554,404 times
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If you like historical houses, Gastonia and Belmont in Gaston County (just west of Charlotte) have quite a few. However, walkability to restaurants etc. in Gastonia is essentially nil, but in Belmont it's a bit better. I currently live in a historic district in Gastonia in a neighborhood that's great for jogging, walking dogs, riding bikes, strolling and chatting with neighbors and so forth. But I do have to get in my car and make a 5 to 10 minute trip to the grocery store or a coffee shop or to go out to eat. I don't mind that though.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:27 PM
 
5,882 posts, read 7,737,086 times
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Yeah Belmont seems to fit a lot of the criteria and the commute wouldn't be bad to Rock Hill. A commute from Gastonia would be pushing 45 minutes, so not sure of your commute tolerance. Belmont would obviously also be closer to Charlotte, including Trader Joe's - probably 25 minutes to each of the 3 Trader Joe's in Charlotte.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:01 PM
 
410 posts, read 699,414 times
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Thanks all for the suggestions and explanations. Hugely helpful.

I actually used to live in Kings Mountain, so I'm very familiar with Gastonia. Sadly their downtown never seemed to take off. I remember when the city basically disbanded the redevelopment group and it went down hill from there.

I am familiar with Belmont as well and did run a search. Not a lot of rentals available via the web, so it might be a take a drive and see type of deal. I do like the location and the downtown, while small, seemed to thriving.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:09 PM
 
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Uh oh.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:06 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,963 posts, read 27,247,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousejunkie View Post
Thanks all for the suggestions and explanations. Hugely helpful.

I actually used to live in Kings Mountain, so I'm very familiar with Gastonia. Sadly their downtown never seemed to take off. I remember when the city basically disbanded the redevelopment group and it went down hill from there.

I am familiar with Belmont as well and did run a search. Not a lot of rentals available via the web, so it might be a take a drive and see type of deal. I do like the location and the downtown, while small, seemed to thriving.

Thanks again!
Actually, downtown Kings Mountain & downtown Gastonia are both plugging along. The old Loray Mill is being rehabbed. I noticed today that the Yamaha bldg on East Franklin has a sign announcing that a coffee house & bakery is coming.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,963 posts, read 27,247,096 times
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Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
Yeah Belmont seems to fit a lot of the criteria and the commute wouldn't be bad to Rock Hill. A commute from Gastonia would be pushing 45 minutes, so not sure of your commute tolerance. Belmont would obviously also be closer to Charlotte, including Trader Joe's - probably 25 minutes to each of the 3 Trader Joe's in Charlotte.
I think that the faster route from Gastonia to Rock Hill would be 321.
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